2002 La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, smoked meat and warm stones. Dry, classic and deep, but quite closed today, even a bit youthfully austere. Finishes very long, with substantial dusty tannins and brisk acids. Much more backward today than the Haut-Brion, despite possessing a lower indice de polyphenols totaux (65, compared to 70). But both of these wines really call for at least six or seven years of cellaring. 91(+?) points. (ST)
Bright aromas of blackberries, cherries, currants and toasted oak follow through to a full-bodied palate, with chewy tannins. Long and silky. Racy. Best after 2009. (JS)
Firm, deep, mineral nose. Some salivatory fruit to begin with. Juicy stuff. Then the acidity just makes its presence felt unfortunately -- though only after great opulence of fruit. Quite persistent. 17.5/20 points. (JR)
La Mission-Haut-Brion has a long and illustrious history in Graves and in some eyes is the greatest estate in Bordeaux. The estate has an unbelievable record of great wines stretching back over the past century and today has a reputation for pure excellence. Robert Parker believes the quality is that of a First Growth. The vines are planted to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Since 1983 the Clarence Dillon family, owners of Chateau Haut Brion have owned and managed La Mission now under the expert guidance of Jean-Philippe Delmas, the third generation in his family to manage the properties of the Dillon Family.